I was very young when my Mamma and Daddy instilled in me to “treat everyone the way you would like to be treated,” and that is still the case today. But as for others in this world…

Plenty of businesses try to include this in their internal training procedures today, and yet one disgruntle employee or one hungry customer later, and the niceness goes right out the window. So how can this be recovered? The digital gods have come up with the concept of Big Data.

So what is Big Data(glad you ask because I was gonna tell you anyway)? The Statistical Analysis System Institute, located in Cary, North Carolina, came up with “a term that describes the large volume of data- both structured and unstructured- that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis.” Data, not referring to the lovable android in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is being accumulated everyday, all day, and every second of the day. My computer is collecting data right now as I write this eye opening post, wondering “what did she eat for dinner tonight?” [Pizza to answer that question. But don’t tell my boot camp instructor. He will probably make me do 20 more burpees if he knew this] When this data is collected, it is sold to your advertisers, local businesses and national corporations to find out what makes their customers tick.

A way that this happens, and you have no idea how, is by those surveys you are asked to complete after every visit. If you are that person who immediately throws away their receipt after you receive it, you would not know that there is a kind request for you to fill out  one of their surveys located on the top or bottom. As I dig down the bottom of my Michael Kors pocketbook, I find tons of receipts asking me for the same task of answering a few questions in their survey.

There are several ways to take a consumer survey: the telephone survey, the online survey, and the social media rating survey. These surveys helps businesses in several different ways:

  1. Improving Customer Engagement and Increasing Customer Loyalty: Contrary to belief, these surveys are very helpful to businesses and retailers in an effort to see why you like or dislike them so much. With retailers having to see their favorite consumers going to those web based superstores instead, or your favor burger joint being less appealing because of the newest niche foodie concept opening in their neighborhood, competition is getting fierce and farce. Surveys and other forms of data collecting tools help your old favorites to be your returning favorites. If well established businesses  do not work with data companies, then you and all of their customers will go to their competitors, and local patrons will have little to no way of getting them back.
  2. Personalizing the Customer Experience: The way data is collected is through your convergent devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, and even your video gaming consuls). Your IP addresses installed in all of your high tech inventory is the portal to all of your dreams, fantasies, and desires, and you had no idea this was happening. An example of this are those annoying ads that pop up on all of your search engines. You can not see what is on the entire page until the sponsored advertising finish downloading. It’s not by coincidence, the data that has been collected by you tells the website you might have interested in one of their sponsors. Personalizing the customer experience helps businesses generate customer based offers on each individual’s buying habits.
  3. Return on Investments: Data collection agencies provide a service. They are in the business of keeping promises. These promises try to guarantee that their potential clients will see an increase in sales volume and customer traffic in any given period of time. This will trickle down to more money coming into your communities and stimulating an economy that is increasing work force and employee moral in you local neighborhoods. But this information doesn’t come cheap, it could end up being a large majority for their marketing budgets for their fiscal year. With that said, this has to work. Small local companies need this. They need to make sure that these agencies that are promising them the moon and the stars see a return of their investments, or we could come to the reality that we will look up and our favorite childhood shopping destination is no more.


So next time you get a polite request to give a service company your input, do it! FILL OUT THAT SURVEY! GIVE THAT FIVE STAR RATING! and most importantly LEAVE THAT POSITIVE RESPONSE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE GOES OUT OF THEIR WAY TO MAKE YOU HAPPY!




By allisonjoyner

Born in Mobile. Raised in Birmingham. Educated in Atlanta. Adulated in Jackson. And back in the ATL.

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